She Used Her Super-Intellect On Me. She's Like Hannibal Lecter: Saving Silverman (2001)

Many comedies stand the test of time for their timelessness or their cult like following, others are simply a signifier of a change in the way comedy films would be for the next few years.  Tragically, Saving Silverman is neither of those, it is simply a run of the mill comedy from the early 2000's that relies to heavily on toilet humor and gay jokes for its plot and fills narrative gaps with moments of absurdity so illogical that endearing does little to describe its situation.  Saving Silverman falls between the perfectly crafted college humor of American Pie and the witty quotable dialogue of Judd Apatow films, yet neither of these comedic forms appear in Saving Silverman, the film starts with promise and quickly and irreversibly falls apart.  In fact, if it were not for Dennis Dugan making Happy Gilmore I would completely dismiss his directorial abilities, because not only is this film uninspiring, he has Jack and Jill credited to his name, a flop of a film if ever one existed.

As noted the film starts off with promise, we are introduced to three lifetime friends the loyal Wayne (Steve Zahn) who has taken up profession as a exterminator, J.D. (Jack Black) a heavy set loudmouth who is constantly out of work and Darren Silverman (Jason Biggs) a loveable loser who has trouble finding respectable relationships in which he is not completely belittled.  The trio, along with being childhood friends, also share a passion for Neil Diamond and spend their free time in a cover band called Diamonds In The Rough.  All appears fine, if simple, in the friends lives, until Darren meets a girl named Judith (Amanda Peet).  Judith is stone cold and shows little concern for Darren, until she realizes she can use him as fodder to dodge the approaches of other.  This using of Darren quickly grows out of control and the film cuts to Darren and Judith six weeks later with Darren pathetically in love with Judith and her indifferent to his feelings.  Furthermore, J.D. and Wayne have lost their constant contact with Darren and Judith makes it a goal of hers to separate her boyfriend from his immature friends.  Confused and enraged J.D. and Wayne set out to breakup the couple and reunite Darren with his high school sweetheart  Sandy (Amanda Detmer), who is only days away from taking her vows at a nunnery.  Wayne and J.D. become so desperate to gain their friend back that they kidnap Judith and lock her in their garage.  The film then falls into absurdity as the Darren reunites with Sandy, Wayne and Judith become intimate and J.D. realizes his own suppressed homosexuality.  In the end, in a rather sloppy manner, all is resolved and the crew even meets Neil Diamond, who, undoubtedly phoned in his role as himself.  The film closes with the credits, which involves a group singing of Neil Diamond's Rain, which is arguably the best part of this film.

As I noted earlier, this film relies almost entirely on baudy jokes and raunchy imagery for its humor, which is problematic in its repetition.  I have come to realize in the past years of film viewing that a truly hilarious film combines multiple facets of humor that includes, but is not limited to puns, slapstick, post-modern humor, political jokes, cultural humor and even a dash of toilet humor.  I remember reviewing The Naked Gun last year and discussing its excellent use of slapstick, but I also realize now as I write this review that The Naked Gun also mastered other forms of humor as well.  It is a tragic sign as a writer, director and even actor when you have to debase a film to crude jokes for an hour and a half simply because the narrative is lacking.  In the rare occasions that a film is completely crude, like American Pie, it does so with such fervor and ridiculousness that it becomes a cult hit; again Saving Silverman fails to do this and simply uses gay jokes and nakedness as a means to an end.  With that said, I have no critical statement on this film and in fact find it almost entirely void of social relevance, except as an example of how not to do comedy.

So, I am sure it is apparent at this point that you should not bother to watch this film, unless you really care for comedy movies and even then I strongly discourage viewing this work.

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